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The Power of “She”

One of the very first essays I ever wrote.

This was one of my earliest posts (with some updates) and really framed how I thought about what this blog should be and how its’ voice should sound.

Listen, I love being called Kandi.  I love being called girl.  “Cute outfit girl!” But nothing thrills me to the core more than to be referred to in conversation as “she”.  That single word, she, a very small word, only three letters, is complete affirmation.  Especially when it is done very naturally by the other person.  No pause, no thought, just “she”.  When someone pauses to think about how to refer to me, I always move to make them more comfortable.  My purpose always when out is to help break down barriers, to make people comfortable with me, to let them know I am no different than they are, I just prefer different clothing.  When you get that “she”, you know you’ve accomplished something.

A few months back I was in line to make a purchase, socially distanced. The sales clerk was talking to the woman she was helping and referred her to another counter and said she would be over in a minute once I check “her” out. That “her” was me. It’s been over seven years since I started down this road and I still noticed that she referred to me that way and it still pleases me to no end!

By no means does “she” infer I “passed” or fooled anyone.  The male physique has hundreds of tells (which we discussed last week). Anyone looking for them can find at least a few. What “she” does mean is that person gets me and respects me.  They value my feelings.  They are sensitive to our changing times.  I am never offended when I am referred to as “he” when dressed.  My voice is definitely male and in conversation, the voice is obviously dominant.  Even people I dearly love, have referred to me as he and I never correct them.  I am a man after all.  Many know me in both male and female modes. But if given the opportunity, I ask them to look at me, not to listen to me when using pronouns.  I do prefer to be referred to as “she” and “her”.

At church (when it was allowed), I am frequently and often referred to by the female gender.  It is very natural for many of the women I volunteer with at the theater (when they still existed) to do this as well.  “She was just telling me….”.  “She’ll show you to your seat..”.  That word always grabs me, catches my attention and I am swept away by its beauty, its simplicity.  One time at the theater, a wonderful woman, a patron, came up to me and told me I was a very pretty lady.  She had literally just walked in, so she didn’t have the opportunity to study me or even think about her kind gesture.  She didn’t have to do that at all.  A smile would have been enough for me.  But she made me feel special.  She made my day!  So ladies, next time someone refers to you as “she”, thank them, let them know it meant something.

It is remarkable to me that there have been many, many experiences and moments for me on my hundreds (nearing a thousand) of outings, yet they never get old. They are always recognized and valued. I just get chills when referred to as “she”, it is truly special and will always be so. It is never said without me realizing so.

“She” is so powerful! She is…..me.

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8 Responses

  1. Kandi, I totally agree with this, I mean never in my life would I have ever thought hearing she or her referring to me would feel so wonderful, make me feel complete.
    Like you I get it I’m male and don’t pass but when I’m out en fem, I’m a women and want to feel respected as such. It’s a big reason I want to blend and dress as the other ladies of today.
    Love your blog so much
    God bless you my dear friend

  2. Definitely worth hearing again, and oh so true. That simple word is better than being called ma’am by a sales associate. It is expressing the truth about me to a third person, and that is simply awesome!

  3. Well said Kandi . I will always refer to my friends as she or her if dressed, not that I really know many , hopefully that will change over time . If I’m unsure I would simply ask as I don’t like to just assume. I would never want to offend anyone. I look forward to the day I go out in public and some refers to me as she or her. My wife is really the only one who sees me dressed at the moment and I feel it’s a big ask for her to call me she or her. Maybe one day she will . I’m just lucky I have a name that can be for either gender .

    1. This is a process for all of us. It only took me over 50 years to become Kandi, so take it, as the great Eddie Rabbit once said, step by step!

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